Five persons suspected to be members of the so-called Unknown Gunmen have been gun down during a fierce confrontation with a local vigilante group at Akwa village in Ihiala, Anambra State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. According to our reliable source who is also an eye witness sighted a Hilux van carrying the corpses of the hoodlums out of the town on Friday as residents hailed the watchmen who were shooting in the air as they drove towards the Onitsha-Owerri expressway.
It was learnt that the slain criminals have a camp at Oseakwa from where they have been terrorizing Ihiala, Okija, Uli and other neighbouring communities.
The violence in the southeast is another layer of insecurity in Nigeria, where kidnapping for ransom are common in the northwest and parts of the Middle Belt region. Armed groups like Boko Haram and the Islamic West Africa Province are also active in the northeast of the country.
In another news, Lion Group also known as Double Lion, a leader of a notorious criminal gang terrorizing Anambra State has been gun down by another criminal gang after clashing in Anambra. The state police public relations officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, who confirmed the killing of the terror gang leader, said he was neutralized by another rival criminal gang that also terrorizes the state.
According to reports from Sahara Reporters, it was gathered that the incident took place during a burial ceremony in Ihiala, Anambra state on Friday. It was gathered that the two rival gunmen had been terrorizing Okija, Ozubulu, Oraifite, Ukpor and Iseke. They were responsible for several killings and abductions in the community.
A viral video seen by Sahara Reporters on Saturday shows that the gunmen had stormed the burial ceremony on the claims that they were not ‘settled’ (given money before the event). The unknown gunmen were however ambushed by the Ihiala security outfit, already stationed in and around the burial area.
During the fierce gun battle, so many casualties were reportedly recorded on the part of the unknown gunmen. “They started shooting without knowing that security men had been stationed at all the entrances. So they took the battle to them in all directions, and there was no way to escape. There were mass casualties against the unknown gunmen,” a voice in the video was heard saying.
Some other sources were reported to have said that when the shooting became so intense, backups were mobilized from neighbouring Okija and Amorka security outfits, who reportedly joined in reinforcement. The voice note further pointed out that the gunmen were not members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), as there was nothing to show they were their members.
“They have been operating in the name of ESN but they are not,” the voice said. Confirming the incident, the Spokesman for the Anambra Police Command, Tochukwu Ikenga, said the police were not involved, adding that the two groups were criminal gangs that had been terrorizing the state.
According to the words of Police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga; “The information is that two rival criminal gangs were fighting. Of course, recently the state has been having security problems, especially as it regards attacks on ceremonies and government infrastructure. And our men were deployed and we are strategically involving strategy to address these security issues as they emerge.
“So what happened yesterday (Friday) according to information before me is that two rivalry criminal gangs had a clash in Ihiala which resulted in one of them neutralizing the gang leader of another, popularly known as “Double Lion” who held a group called “Lion group” that has been terrorizing the state.
“According to eyewitnesses, the shooting was between the lion group and another group he didn’t mention their name, and before our men got there, the groups had already left the scene, and the lion group had made away with the corpse of their leader.”
“But the situation is under control now because our men have been intensively doing patrol there to ensure peace. There is no arrest made so far,” he added.